Slideshow planning permission

Do Planning Permission Rules Differ Across the UK?

The term planning permission is one that means different things to different people, and is very dependent on circumstances. For example, to a conservationist looking to protect a natural environment, planning permission represents the protections afforded to these places by legislation. However, to a homeowner looking to build a much-needed extension, planning permission is a costly and time-consuming bit of bureaucracy.

So planning permission can differ in interpretation, but does it differ in itself around the country? First, let’s look at what it is and when it’s needed.


What is planning permission?

Planning permission is required when a building is created, added to or divided. The permission is also subject to Permitted Development Rights which are linked to specific properties. This means there are sometimes certain alterations you can make without requiring permission. These can depend on factors such as work already carried out as well as proximity to areas of natural beauty and conservation.

So at this level, planning permission does differ in some parts of the country. For example, you are far less likely to get planning permission near an area of outstanding natural beauty such as the Norfolk Broads or the Norwich Green Belt.

However, these differences are written into the planning legislation rather than indicating that the law is different in various parts of the country. The statutes differentiate between different areas of use, for example urban and countryside, and there are separate codes of conduct for each. Again, these form part of planning permission regulations rather than being distinct from it.


How the permission is granted

This is the area where there is most scope for variation. Planning permission is granted by each individual local authority as determined by something called material considerations. These include factors such as privacy rights, parking, loss of light and more. And while the guidelines and training should follow national criteria, the way these are interpreted depends on local factors.

For example, parking may be much more of an issue in older cities like Norwich than in new towns like Milton Keynes, constructed after the age of the motor car and with parking in mind. Likewise, historical building protection is more important here in Norfolk than in some other areas.

The key to successful planning permission is understanding which areas of the legislation are most important at the local level. Here at Agile we have worked closely with local planning departments and have a detailed understanding of how and why planning permission works in Norwich. So if you’d like to find out more, then get in touch with the team.

To find out more about the local and national property market, or if you would like to chat about anything to do with property investment, give us a ring on Norwich 01603 567804 or send us a message.

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